After the death of a loved one, the help and support of friends is of great importance, and sometimes it can even have a miraculous effect. But how to help a person survive grief?How to support a person after the death of a loved one and what can be done for him? After all, not any help will play a positive role, because death is a topic that requires special delicacy.
Therefore, it is often difficult for friends to find the right words, and they simply do not know how to behave. This is especially true in situations where one who seeks to support a person at the death of a loved one himself has not encountered such situations. Often a sense of confusion and awkwardness visits people whose friends have lost a family member due to cancer - often people want to support with all their hearts, but they don’t know, they can’t feel what a person suffering from grief had to endure, because they themselves are not familiar with such problems.
How can you help someone who is suffering a loss?
Along with the above, it is important to understand that a person is in dire need of help immediately after the death of a loved one, because at this stage he is in a state of shock and confusion. If a loved one has just died, then your friend feels a sudden emptiness and does not know how to live further and what to do at this particular moment. Moreover, the death of a relative is followed by the execution of relevant documents, the organization of a funeral and commemoration, which requires time, energy, mental resources and makes it necessary to make a number of decisions. But because during a farewell to the departed and after this event, a person urgently needs not only support, but also help with actions.
In addition, a person experiencing a loss often neglects taking care of himself - he does not monitor food, does not do house cleaning, etc. And therefore, as a friend, you can come to him to take care by performing these actions - and this, too, can be used as an excuse for a visit.
How to help a person with advice?
When we think about how to support a person after the death of a loved one and how to help him survive the mountainse, we have a desire to give him advice. But what can be advised and in what form should these tips be given?
- In order to support a person after a loss, one should not advise him to “forget” and “not think” about the death of a close relativebut. He cannot help but think about what happened, and he needs to survive the loss, and not forget about it.
Trying to distract a friend from sad thoughts, it is better not only to advise him how to do this, but to participate in this. If you advise him to go to the exhibition (to the theater, to visit friends, etc.), then he most likely will not go - because he has neither the mood nor the strength. Therefore, it is better not to give him advice, but to offer to do it together.
When giving advice, it’s important to focus not on what you think is right, but on what is best for the person you are talking to. Perhaps it would be easier for you to actively engage in work in his place. But if, by virtue of your character, your friend is inclined toward a quiet pastime at home, then it is better to advise him to take a day off and relax at home, where he can sleep and watch his favorite movie.
Do not impose your worldview. Often people who do not know how to survive the loss seek solace in religion and talk about death in this context. But there are those who do not see the point. Therefore, you should not advise a person to go to church or start a conversation about life after death, if he is not inclined to this - if his worldview does not coincide with yours, then it will not make it easier for him.
Help a friend make plans for the future. When a person experiences loss, it is very important that he does not lock himself in his grief, but is ready to live on. Therefore, in order to support a person close to you after the death of a relative, take an interest in his plans (work, children, buying a car, vacation, etc.) and help him make them up if they are not there - then the picture of the future will become clearer for him.
Thus, in order to help a person survive the death of a loved one, it is first necessary to be near, and at the same time it is important to be unobtrusive and to show sensitivity, delicacy and patience. Sometimes even an ordinary presence without words can help a person to feel that he is not alone, to feel warmth and support. And it is precisely close people who are able to help a person see that after the loss of a relative, his life does not end, and that it is possible to survive any tragedy.
Is it appropriate to say to the person whose child died “hold on”?
- It’s not very correct to say some common phrases, platitudes that we hide behind. We feel awkward, confused, do not understand how to behave with a person who has grief. This situation is very traumatic for us. When it comes to death, we ourselves are not very prepared for this conversation. From this confusion and even from some kind of fright, people hide behind banal phrases: “everything will be fine”, “well, don’t be upset,” “well, you hold on”, “God takes the best”, “you have everything in life will be ... "At such a moment, these phrases to a person, rather, say that his feelings do not accept, that his grief is depreciating. What does "hold on" mean? So, about nothing.
Formalism and banality and some phrases are annoying, when, for example, a mother who has lost a child is told: “You are young - you will still give birth”, “That you are killed by it, you still have two children.” The sentient person probably understands everything and will not say this if he is not at all confused.
Maybe it's better not to touch a person and not talk about his grief?
- Sometimes a person makes it very clear that he wants to be alone. And in such a situation, when he asked about it, he needs to be given this opportunity - to be alone. You can tell him that if something is needed, then you are there, let him call and you will come.
It is wrong to think that raising this topic with a person, you once again remind about it and cause additional suffering. A grieving person cannot be reminded of the death of a loved one; he already spends 100% of his time thinking about it. He did not forget about it and will be grateful to the person who will share these thoughts and memories with him, will give him the opportunity to talk. On the contrary, the conversation will bring relief.
How to understand that a person wants to talk about his grief?
- People almost always respond to a conversation about the dead. This topic occupies 100% of thoughts, attention and memory. Therefore, if we want to talk with a person, then we need to talk about the dead. You can remember something together, see photos, you do not need to think that this will intensify the pain. A person is already experiencing grief, and, rather, on the contrary, memories of the departed, photographs will bring him relief.
Is it worth saying “don't cry” when a person is crying?
- Saying “don't cry” is, of course, inappropriate. “Don’t cry” is just that concern not about the person who is grieving, but about himself. Sometimes it’s very difficult for us to endure someone else’s strong emotions, it’s very difficult to see someone else’s hysteria, hear someone else’s sobs, and in order to ease our perception, we say to another: “don’t cry”, “calm down”, “don’t shout like that”, “why are you so ". On the contrary, a person must be given the opportunity to cry and speak. In the first minutes, when a person finds out about the death of a loved one, there is often a very sharp reaction: tantrums and screams, people faint. But any reaction in this situation is normal, although it can be difficult to tolerate for others. This must be understood, and it is necessary to give a person the opportunity to react the way he reacts.
When a family has lost a child, both women and men cry. Although in our society, the manifestation of feelings in men, unfortunately, is still considered a weakness, and therefore they often try to stay and show less of their grief in public. Actually showing emotions in such a situation is normal. Those who restrain themselves and experience everything inside can experience somatic diseases, exacerbations of chronic diseases, and a failure of the cardiovascular system.
Should I offer a grieving person to eat or drink water?
- Any effective care has a right to exist. People in grief forget about themselves, and their strength leaves them very quickly. They forget to drink, eat, sleep. And this is true, it is very important that there was a person nearby who would follow these things: regularly offer food, make sure that a person at least drinks.
Should I offer money help?
- Each person offers the help that he can offer. After the Kemerovo tragedy, a lot of people want to help with money: huge amounts were collected by the Red Cross, the diocese, the Kemerovo administration ... People, however, often want to help with money, and for some this is the only way to help.
What to do if a loved one closes up because of grief and does not want to communicate?
- It all depends on how long the loss occurred. Grief is a process that assumes that a person goes through several stages.
At first, rejection and denial: when a person does not believe that this could happen.
Then he nevertheless realizes the irreversibility of this loss, and he gets angry about this: how so why it happened to me. A person can look for the guilty - in the event of a catastrophe, look for them among those who are involved in it, in case of illness - look for the culprits among the doctors. That is, it is important for him to find the guilty, to tear evil on him, to demand retribution for what happened.
He may feel guilty for what happened, for the fact that he did not do something or did not do it on time. There may be some irrational fault: “why did I let him go there”, “how could I not feel that this would happen to him”, “how could I live peacefully when this happened to them”.
When these acute feelings go away a bit, the stage of depression may begin. And indeed, then the person closes and does not want to communicate with anyone. This is also one of the stages of grief, and it is normal at some stage. But there must be someone who is nearby and offers help.
If you see that your loved one is not coping and the condition is not improving, then the only right decision is to contact a specialist. It can be a psychologist or a psychiatrist. Turning to a psychiatrist in such a situation is normal, do not be afraid of the word.
Does a person who died during a disaster perceive words of sympathy?
- Of course. Even if it seems that he is so in his grief that he does not hear or see anything, in fact this is not so. And at this point, support is very important. The warm words that “we are near”, that “we love you”, that “we are here, and you can contact us” are important. Important care about the physical condition of a person. It is necessary that there is someone who monitors whether a person drinks water, whether he eats or periodically measures his pressure.
How can you help yourself cope with the loss?
- It is difficult to give general recommendations. But you need to allow yourself to feel what you are currently feeling. All emotions that you experience have a right to exist. In this state, you can experience a variety of feelings: anger, guilt, and despair ... We need all these feelings in order to overcome grief and return to life.
You need to understand that grief is a process. Realize that someday, one fine day, at least for one second you will suddenly feel better, then for two seconds, and every day the condition will improve.
It is believed that the most difficult period after loss lasts a year. When I have already met all the holidays without a loved one, when you remember what you did together. But gradually, a person learns to live without his loved one, he finds some new meanings in life, makes new plans, new people appear on his life path, and even, perhaps, new relationships. Gradually, you realize that grief has become not so black and addictive, and you remember a loved one with warmth and love. This, probably, is the moment which in psychology is called “acceptance”.
To help yourself cope with grief, you need to find some meaning in order to live on. This meaning can be in the person who left: you can realize some of his desires, which he did not have time, and do it in memory of him.